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Another Cedar Rapids gas leak


Posted May 26, 2010 6:48 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Natural gas fumes permeated through the air again this evening in Cedar Rapids. A construction

crewman working near the intersection of 1st Avenue and 7th Street SW, contacted the Iowa One Call

hotline after an underground pipe was struck. Battalion Chief John Pulver said that when firefighters

came to the scene the utilityʼs companyʼs repair team was already there.

This is the cityʼs second gas leak in as many days and the eight since March 29th, according to fire

department records.

Cedar Rapids firefighters and a MidAmerican Energy


employee work to repair a leaking gas line at 1st
Avenue and 7th Street SW, on Wednesday, May 26,
2010. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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Gas line struck near Boyson and Council


Posted May 25, 2010 9:18 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Gas fumed from an underground line this evening after a construction crew struck it. The Cedar Rapids

Fire Department responded to a call a few minutes after 5 p.m. The leak was secured by a hazardous

materials crew while police diverted traffic away from the scene. Council Street was closed for about two

hours between Boyson Road and 60th Street NE.

Firefighters respond to a gas line rupture on May 25,


2010. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Crime, Law and Justice, Disaster and Accident and tagged 2010, Cedar Rapids, Cedar
Rapids Fire Department, construction, firefighter, Iowa. Bookmark the permalink.
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Substance used to make meth found in hotel parking lot


Posted May 25, 2010 5:00 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

A two-gallon thermos with an ammonia-like substance was found this afternoon in the parking lot of the

Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, 525 33rd Avenue, SW.

The material, commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, was discovered in a cooler. George

Bockenstedt, an investigator with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department said the federal Drug Enforcement

Agency was contacted to continue the investigation.

Police and fire were called to the Clarion Hotel and


Convention Center in Cedar Rapids this afternoon after
a suspicious thermos was discovered. (Christopher
Pratt/ SourceMedia News)

Police and fire were called to the Clarion Hotel and


Convention Center in Cedar Rapids this afternoon after
a suspicious thermos was discovered. (Christopher
Pratt/ SourceMedia News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
View all posts by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News →
This entry was posted in Crime, Law and Justice, Disaster and Accident and tagged 33rd avenue, Cedar
Rapids, enforcement, Fire Department, investigation, methamphetamine, police. Bookmark the permalink.
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Funds raised for police dogs because city won’t fund k-9
program
Posted May 22, 2010 10:44 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Cedar Rapids and Linn County K-9 officers say their dogs help combat drug traffic and sniff bombs. A

Cedar Rapids pet store owner agrees, and thatʼs why the parking lot of Petʼs Playhouse, 151 Jacolyn Dr.

NW. looked like a carnival today.

A cover band, a dunk tank and McGruff the Crime Dog entertained the crowd while police officers put

out the word. Dogs make police work easier. That was the message put out to the already converted

crowd, which Mike Hunt, owner of the pet store estimated to be more than 4,000. The third annual

fundraiser raised $10,000 at the event in 2008 and $12,000 last year, Hunt said.

“The more dogs we have the safer I think everybody will be in town, the safer the officers will be.”

The Police Department currently has seven dogs that are available to sniff out cars and scope out

problem areas. The sheriff has two. Dogs are usually partnered with an officer who cares for them like a

typical owner, but like their human colleagues they do dangerous work.

On Saturday, west of the Cedar River the budget priorities of local lawmakers were discussed by police

and citizens alike.

“The city doesnʼt have a budget for the canines, which is the problem. All of our money comes from

community support and things like this today,” said Al Fear, 38, a police officer with the canine unit. Fear

spoke to a crowd and showcased one of the dogs.

“Theyʼre all very friendly, and just make sure you have the eye contact with the hand there before you

reach down and pet the dogs. Not that the dogs will attack you but we just want to make sure we are all

safe,” said Fear.

Children approached Fear and his dog Marco. Some dogs have names reminiscent of the cast of the

American Gladiators television program. Besides Marco, thereʼs Nitro and Charger. Fear said his K-9

helped seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana, just a few weeks back. One caressed Marco as he

panted patiently. “What happens if the bad guy starts shooting at the dog?”

They all have bulletproof vests, said Fear.

,
Chad Colston, an officer with the Linn County Sheriff's
Department holds his dog during a fundraiser for the
K-9 unit on May 22, 2010. (Christopher
Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

Officer Al Fear addresses a crowd during a fundraiser


for the police's K-9 unit on May 22, 2010. (Christopher
Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

McGruff shakes hands at Pet's Playhouse during a K-9


unit fundraiser on May 22, 2010. (Christopher
Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Crime, Law and Justice and tagged canine unit, Cedar Rapids, Community, crime, Linn
County Sheriff, police. Bookmark the permalink.
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Benton county teen booked after leading police on a high


speed chase
Posted May 21, 2010 5:15 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Update: View the Belle Plaine Police report.

A 19-year-old was arrested for leading police on a car chase in Benton county early this morning. Corey

Ary was pursued by law enforcement down gravel roads a little before 8 a.m. Ary had two passengers in

his car during the chase. According to the police, a county deputy deployed a nail-like sheet designed to

blow out to tires to stop the teen.

Belle Plaine Police accused Ary of a laundry list of charges; driving with a revoked license, possession

of drug paraphernalia, eluding, speeding, failure to obey a stop sign, and fraudulent use of registration.

The two juveniles were released and not charged.

Partial chase route, according to scanner audio:

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Crime, Law and Justice and tagged Benton, Car chase, Chase, County, eluding, law
enforcement, roads, speeding, tire. Bookmark the permalink.
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New security at Kwik Shop, says company president


Posted May 20, 2010 9:59 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Kwik Shop where a teenage clerk was kidnapped with a knife

now has a security guard on the graveyard shift, said Jeff Parker, president of the company. Amanda

Daniel was working alone when she was abducted around 4 a.m. on Monday. Surveillance video

captured the incident. Since 1993 most Cedar Rapids gas stations staffed alone during the night have

been required to keep surveillance video.

The early morning shift at a convenience store is the most hazardous time to work the risk-filled position,

as was previously reported by KCRG. Whether or not the guard is temporary or permanent the clerk on

the graveyard shift tonight is less likely to face what Daniel did on Monday.

“I canʼt tell you how long that may or may not last,” said Parker of Kwik Shop.

Police have accused 54-year-old Keith Van Elson, Jr. of kidnapping the 19-year-old from the gas station

at 1001 First Ave. SW. He was treated for a stab wound following the incident.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Crime, Law and Justice and tagged Amanda Daniel, Cedar Rapids, First Ave.,
kidnapping, Kwik Shop. Bookmark the permalink.
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Gunman takes dough from pizza man


Posted May 20, 2010 4:46 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS – A Papa Johnʼs employee was robbed while driving to the bank late Saturday night.

Matt Gates was stopped in his car at the intersection of Richmond and Hollywood when a man carrying

a gun and wearing gloves approached and demanded his money. Gates, the manager of the store

located at 3558 Center Point Road, handed over the money. The police report said the gunman wore

dark pants and either a hat or dew rag. It was undisclosed how much money was taken.

Papa John's on Center Point Road was quiet Saturday


night just hours after an employee was robbed

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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Cyclists ride to remember


Posted May 19, 2010 8:01 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS – Around 70 bicyclists rode through the streets of Cedar Rapids tonight to

commemorate people who have died while cycling.

“We ride to memorialize all those who we have lost doing what they love to do, bicycling,” said David

Glandon, the local organizer for Ride of Silence.

The bicyclists assembled at Greene Square Park in downtown Cedar Rapids. Then they set off on a five

mile ride through the city of Five Seasons. Many of those who gathered at the park had family members

killed while bicycling. Amanda Vanous, 25, of Raleigh, Iowa told the crowd how her mother was killed

while cycling in Northwest Iowa. She called on legislators to make Iowa a friendlier place for cyclists.

“The reason I tell you my personal story is because we need to push for tougher laws.”

Amanda Vanous spoke before the Ride of Silence on May 19, 2010.
(Christopher Pratt/ SourceMedia News Group)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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New game room and mural aim to motivate kids


Posted May 18, 2010 10:12 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

A new game room and mural at an area non-profit has been designed to help disadvantaged kids study

more and also keep them away from risky behavior.

“The goal of the mural is to hopefully help kids visualize the fact that their schoolwork does pertain to

what their occupation is going to be,” said Amy Grunewaldt, Executive Director of the Jane Boyd

Community House.

Some of the 14 faces on the mural include the famous and the powerful. Football coach Tony Dungy,

President Barack Obama and gymnast Shawn Johnson have been newly coated on a western wall at

the center

But some of the faces have no identity beyond their profession. A painter, a chemist and a soldier now

burst out from a bright blue background. Those images have become the backdrop for kids as they flick

air hockey pucks.

The Incentive Room was supported by funding from the Marion-Cedar Rapids Rotary Club. Michelle

Bell, the groupʼs service chair, said Rotaryʼs mission meshed well with the idea of an incentive room.

“Literacy is one of our main goals all over the world, and weʼre glad to be able to help with that.”

The Jane Boyd Community House has a long history of serving the poor in Cedar Rapids and part of its

mission is to enhance the academic well-being of Cedar Rapidsʼ diverse communities. About 60 percent

of kids in the program were African-American, Grunewaldt said.

The images on the wall might inspire great things from students. “They do represent persons of a variety

of ethnic, racial backgrounds. Thatʼs really what we were going for,” said Gary Connors-Boe, 63, the

muralist and social worker.

This summer 65 kids are scheduled to participate in a five-day a week program, which runs from 7:30

a.m. until 5:30 p.m. A rewards program will determine just how often kids access the game room. “The

kids actually have to earn to be able to enter the room,” said Grunewaldt.

“At the end of the week they get paid in Jane Boyd bucks, and they can use those dollars to be able to

come into the incentive room,” added Grunewaldt.

After the ribbon cutting festivities in the new room, one program participant found inspiration for a career

while looking towards Connors-Boeʼs mural. “I want to be a painter so I can help the community, and a

preacher so I can speak Godʼs words,” said Royal Abram, 9, a student at Polk Elementary.
Any child in elementary school is eligible to participate in the program, and spaces remain for the

summer program.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in arts, culture and entertainment, human interest. Bookmark the permalink.
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Minnesota man charged with sexual exploitation in Iowa


Posted May 14, 2010 5:35 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Steven Morrow, 46, of Eagle Lake, Minn. could face up

to thirteen years in prison if convicted on charges of

sexual exploitation, and enticing away a minor, said

assistant Fayette County attorney, J.D. Villont.

According to the Fayette County Sheriffʼs office, Morrow

tried contacting a 15-year-old female over the Internet

and also tried to lure a minor away from home, said

Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher.

Morrow faces one class C felony charge and two

misdemeanors, according to court records. Steven Morrow of Eagle Lake, Minn. was
arrested on charges of sexual exploitation

Fisher said his department teamed with the Blue Earth

County Sheriffʼs department in Minnesota to arrest the man on Wednesday.

Morrow was released on a $22,500 bond from a Mankato jail on Thursday afternoon.

After being issued a warrant both sheriffsʼ offices involved with the investigation searched Morrowʼs

home. They confiscated a personal computer and other equipment for examination.

An attempt was made to reach Morrow at his Minnesota home, but he was not available for comment.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
View all posts by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News →

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